Fisherman’s tagging experiment offers evidence that setnet-caught kings survive

After the disastrous summer of 2012, when poor king salmon returns gave commercial Cook Inlet east side set gillnet fishermen only a handful of fishing days throughout the season, Brent Johnson began brainstorming. A lifelong setnetter in the Clam Gulch area, Johnson knows he is allowed to harvest and sell king salmon under his commercial fishing permits, but he began thinking up ways to winnow out kings from the rest of the salmon. That way, he could release the kings alive and let them head up the river, contributing to escapement goals so the Alaska Department of Fish and Game could leave the setnet open, allowing him to still catch other kinds of salmon. After a few seasons of testing experimental nets and tagging kings he released, he finally has some results to show, indicating that kings may survive being released from setnets. click here to read the story 14:26